Thailand’s Public Health Minister says the government’s Covid-19 task force will meet today to decide what this year’s Songkran celebrations will look like. While a ban on inter-provincial travel is not expected, Anutin Charnvirakul says provincial governors will impose health screening protocols on those moving between provinces.
“We are now on the last lap. Covid-19 vaccines have already arrived and everyone will get the vaccine. Next year, we will be able to have fun again. Therefore, we need to cooperate like we did last year. Last year, Thailand went 6 to 7 months without new cases of Covid-19. But when Thailand had performed well in disease control and news of vaccines emerged, a new surge of infections struck. However, the public health system is still efficient enough to bring new transmissions under control.”
Anutin says measures will be based on the colour-coding that categorises areas based on infection rates. With Bangkok and the central province of Samut Sakhon now designated orange zones, there are no longer any red provinces in the country. When asked if green provinces would be allowed to indulge in Songkran water fights, he says this is one of the decisions the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration will make today.
According to a Bangkok Post report, the CCSA will also discuss a further easing of restrictions on international arrivals. The mandatory quarantine period has already been reduced from 14 days to 10, or 7, in the case of vaccinated travellers.
Anutin says the CCSA will today consider a proposal to cut quarantine even further for vaccinated arrivals. If international travellers have received 2 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and if they test negative for the virus, the 7 day quarantine could be cut to 5 or even 3 days. Anutin adds that vaccinated arrivals may even be exempt from quarantine, but this move would require the input of medical experts.
Referring to Thailand’s own vaccination programme, the Health Minister says the PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha, has ordered a rapid and safe national vaccine rollout.
“I can confirm there will be enough vaccines for all. Vaccines won’t be in short supply any longer. Vaccines from Sinovac have already arrived and in the next few months AstraZeneca vaccines produced in Thailand will be available at 10 million doses a month. The DDC will try to achieve the broadest possible distribution of vaccine.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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